Studio non-fraternization contracts, protecting whom?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Gator, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    There are at mine. In fact, one of my fellow students won her competition at the recent DC event while dancing with our studio owner.
     
  2. macha

    macha New Member

    Common sense would- if people'd use it.

    I figure that if I have to pay these people to put one hand on my shoulderblade and hold my hand with their other, I'm not friend material. I'm a student, that's what I pay for, and I really should know my place better than to go buddying up to them. They have friends already. What would I have to offer that's so astoundingly different from what they already have.

    Saying hello in the store, chatting awhile if calling to confirm a private lesson, meeting them at a streetfest, that's ok, but stopping by with a casserole... nah- I should know better- it's up TO ME to know better.

    I think I'd rather be too distant than too chummy. I don't want to feel like an idiot for sitting on someone. It's easy to do that when someone who helps you or teaches you is NICE to you. You can't ever make the mistake that it's anything more than instruction.

    The people at our lessons are very friendly and helpful. I wouldn't do anything to change that. I don't know if it's that I'm not as outgoing and friendly, or if I just don't want to impose any more than I'd want to BE imposed upon, but so far it works. But then, I don't go around looking to boff instructors or other students. I don't know why people can't separate things- It must be really hard in different places to do so. Are people so led by their bodies that their mind just sits up there for the ride? Actually, I don't think that's even a lot of it. I think it's just some students/people are natural-born kiss-asses and drama-queens, and some are actually there for the right reasons. They need a pat on the head from someone- namely an instructor- to validate their existence. They don't realise that in the end... we're still all going to die anyway, regardless of how many more gold stars we get than someone else, and it won't matter.

    (I've been hanging out with the wrong crowd online lately- I have to stop being so brooding and frigid, Lol)
     
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    RAther Be Dancing: I still have NO IDEA WHAT DISTINCTION YOU ARE MAKING or what is has to do with student dancing w/ instructor etc...can you be a bit more specific...on how you thing this depends upon whether or not a studio has competitive dancers??? I am confused :wink:
     
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no macha as usual you're just a slightly harsh version of dead on...truly peopl who are taking privates have to exercise discretion and not harness all of their psycohlogical well-being into who a lesson goes....I learned this after my first comp when I started to totally lose grip on reality...and it is not pretty for the student or the teacher...and counter productive to good progress and enjoyment and a collegiality among the other students...I still think its fine though for rational people who enjoy each others company to discreetly exercise their own judgement regarding when and where and how often to asociate outside the studio....emphasis on discreet...emphasis on matur individuals....emphasis on exercise good judgment
     
  5. ratherbdancing

    ratherbdancing New Member

    I brought this up because at my studio, the teachers all extremely close with their compeititors. Most of them travel with their students and even stay with them at competitions in the hotel rooms to save money. Because of this time at competitions, we are all close outside of the compeitions as well, for instance we go to parties, dinner, whatever all the time because of the relationship that has been built through all this time spent together at comps. Does this help clarify?

    edit: based on some of the stipulations of the non-fraternization contracts, wouldnt the above violate that?
     
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    thanks for clarifying....like I said, i briefly saw this non-fraternization clause in our contract and instructors don't don't linger and make themselves overly available on studio time which is good for all of the reasons you mention, but in practice I see alot of flexibility at our studio regarding this...and as you said particularly when it comes to competitive students...its just the nature of the beast
     
  7. macha

    macha New Member

    Well, I know that we take private lessons to polish up what we learn in groups (and learn survival tricks for other dance settings, like public, etc.)... I know there are those- I've seen them at our studio already- who take private lessons just to rub up on someone and have, in essence, a dance-whore for fifty-five minutes at a time. I admit- we use dancing as an escape, a brief reprieve from J's work, my family and friends (well, the "friends like these..." friends, not friends friends), and so on, but we're not looking for anything else. Dancing is a fun escape, but when the music stops, so does the magic- until the next dance! :lol:

    But, hey- that's fine- whatever they want to do, and however they get their kicks. Personally, rechargable batteries are just as effective and a more renewable resource to protect our dancing environment :twisted: , but if they want to pay for the white corvette that says DNCE TCH outside, the nice floating maple floor, the gorgeous faux columns with the purple and the lights... that's cool- more money I don't have to pay :D

    I know that if our teachers thought it was going too far for their personal space or perspective, they'd nip it, but I think that they actually like to make people feel worth something for just a few minutes out of a week, and then send them on their way :D
     
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol: I do hear some folk have crushes, but that is another thread...gotta tell ya though I don't even see our studio owners let alone the others teachers approaching that kind of dough, but if I happen to play some part in seeing that my instructor does well financially, my husband I both couldn't be happier....and I am not talking about fraternization where money grubbing teacher is nice to lonely and pathetic person to line their pockets...I am saying there are some folks beyond myself who genuinely have a rapport and occasionally do stuff for healthy and genuine reasons....it IS possible for people to be kind to one another in a dance environment for genuine reasons that don't involve exploitation on either side....yes, sometimes some folks think that and it is niave and they are really being exploited or getting what they really want which is some sort of fantasy, but for goodness sakes macha, can you leave open the possibility that there are still some decent people in the world...I am beginning to think that you and saludas should have tea :wink:
     
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and macha...how do you know what is motivating someone else to pay for privates....as I said in another post we have one very beautiful young woman who looks very sensual...its just the way she looks and it looks like she is coming on to guys just by the way she carries herself but she is really the shyest most insecure woman who would be comepletely freaked if someone mistook her demanor for what you are describing....but I have heard people judge her unmercifully
     
  10. macha

    macha New Member

    Trust me- there's a difference. If you can't see it, wait- you eventually will. And I say this not from dancelihood, but from anything.

    Besides- ease off- I said "some"... there's no need for me to put a warning label or disclaimer on everything I write. Read this, please:

    Where does that sound like I said "Everybody who does"... ??

    I don't want to give the guy's name away, but he's one of these mentioned people. Any new woman walking through the door who doesn't have a male attached, he "swoops in on them". I've watched the girls with whom he dances already "adjusting the hand"- putting it back up on their back, not their waist or hips, and I've seen the "stiff left arm of steel"- holding him in a particular space- and not closer.

    There are also the women who become necklaces and belt-buckles, and then there are the ones who, as you described, are very sensual and lively dancers.

    That being said :roll:

    No, I can't read your palms from this distance, but please know that I'm not picking apart the dark, insecure corners of your guilty mind. I'm not even writing at you, ok?
     
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    none of my guilt lives in the dark...as both my husband and my instructor know, he would be on my short list of men who are worth it if I ever get dumped or am widowed....I like it that way...it keeps that kind of misbehavior at bay...so please don't judge me either...but okay okay, you didnt say everyone...it just sounded like you left no room at all for any benign interactions btwn students and teachers and I just find that sort of cynicism as bad as the niavete in other extreme...and I think that sort of cynicism when it goes past healthy caution, can really fuel the mistrust and manipulation that does go on....when I see so many posts of that tone....its like everytime my teacher says something nice I am supposed to say to myself remember he's just doing that to keep you coming back.....I would never be able to dance with him if I beleived that every single thing he or any other instructor or the owner there said was to either get in my pants or my wallet....that's all...truce?
     
  12. macha

    macha New Member

    Fair enough 8)
     
  13. Medira

    Medira New Member

    I can see the logic and understanding behind non-fraternization policies in studios. I can see how, in some situations, it protects the instructors from unwanted advances and I can also see how it can protect the students from less-than-honourable instructors. However, I think that they have the potential to be too restrictive. For example, in the city I live in, there are very limited venues where we can go out social dancing. With the price of gas being as high as it is, people are less inclined to make the 45 minute drive into downtown Toronto in order to go out for a night of dancing...so the local venues have been getting busier and busier. There have been a few occasions now where I've run into 3 or 4 instructors from the studio and their responses are always different. I will go over and say hello, but I don't usually ask them to dance, simply because they're off the clock and I would feel bad if they felt obligated to accept a dance request, simply because I am a student at the studio. However, some will be friendly and chat for a while and sometimes ask to dance with me, while others will be polite, but short and to the point, while reminding me not to mention that I saw them out for fear of getting in trouble, if the wrong people overhear and misinterpret what we're saying. It's that fear of being reprimanded or, in the worst case scenario, losing their job that could turn their night out into a potentially uncomfortable situation. It's that kind of situation where I think a non-fraternization policy has the potential to be too strict.
     
  14. No fraternization...

    Most (if not all) of the studios at which I have taken lessons have a "no fraternization" policy. Simply put, teachers are not allowed to spend recreation time with students.

    Would someone kindly explain the basis of this policy? Is it really a problem if a teacher goes out to a salsa club for a couple of hours with some of the better dancers on their night off? It seems harmless to me.
     
  15. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Moderator

  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

  17. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    It causes two related problems: favoritism and jealousy. Favoritism is when a teacher begins giving preferential treatment to a student, and jealousy is when students get upset over such treatment (whether or not it's occurring).

    It's been my experience that even when teachers have relationships, usually platonic but sometimes not, with students outside of the studio, they are capable of remaining professional in the studio and treating all their students as equal as ever. That said, there are exceptions, and teachers will, intentionally or otherwise, occasionally focus on these students more in class, allow their private lessons to go over, dance with them more at studio parties, etc. Even if the teacher is being professional, however, other students will often see every bit of justified attention as a sign of favoritism and accuse the student of receiving extra treatment. It creates strife.

    I do go dancing with my students outside of the studio, but I never go with my students. I will often make announcements to the effect of, "This Saturday I will be dancing at [name of venue]. If anyone's planning to go dancing, I hope to see you there." If students from the studio do show up, whether they're my students or not, I'm sure to give them all equal attention (or as equal as it can be under such circumstances). While this effectively turns a recreational night out into a working night, I see it as the price of admission in order to socialize with my students.

    The other way that I would handle such things, though I've never done so, is if a student wanted me to accompany her to an event, as Boogie Woogie described, is have the student pay a small fee to me and the studio and make sure the other students know about it. It thus becomes a studio service rather than instructor favoritism.
     
  18. Amanda Coyle

    Amanda Coyle New Member

    suburbaknight this all makes sense. Sounds like you are exercising a lot of due diligence.
     
  19. Suburbaknght, I am glad to hear there are people like you out there. I've come across many unlike you and they all appear to be the ones who will talk with you only if you spend money on them eventhough that's not their intent.
     
  20. Linda J Schlensker

    Linda J Schlensker New Member

    Insurance companies often ask what you harrassment and sexual abuse policies are. Rates vary according to what they are. The presence of the contract may be an indicator that you dance studio is carrying other insurance to provide coverage if you are injured as well. It's harder and harder to get an affordable policy with a good insurance company these days. The cost of providing accident coverage on children has skyrocketed. Claims of sexual abuse have pushed up the rates on all coverage for children. It's a mixed mess. What's really scary are the forms that ask you to sign release forms if you should be injured at an event or facility.
     

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